The New iPad (3): Review of reviews

The iPad 3/iPad HD/”iPad” (we’ll stick to the first option to avoid confusion) is out, and so are the reviews. While the aesthetic differences between the first iPad and iPad 2 were obvious, one look at Apple’s newest version of its beloved tablet will show that not much has changed. Until you activate the screen…


The Name

Apple’s newest iPad is called The iPad. “Didn’t they already release ‘The iPad?”, you ask. Yes, and in a bold branding move, they’ve decided to rewrite history and make this version of the iPad “The iPad”. Not that this has stopped everyone calling it the iPad 3, the iPad HD, or the new iPad. For David Phelan from TechBeta, however, Apple’s brazen rule-breaking (never give two products exactly the same name) shows that the newest iPad has permanence.

Retina Display

The new iPad’s selling point has garnered rave reviews from gadget-loving writers on some of the world’s biggest websites. T3 reviewer Luke Peters points out that the quality of the new iPad’s screen is clear when compared with that of the iPad 2: “apps in folders are just blobs of pixelated colour; on the new one you can almost make out text.”

Processing Power

Reviews across the board have commented on how the iPad 3’s faster processing power has not diminished its battery life. As John Gruber remarks on his blog, Daring Fireball, the battery life of an iPad far exceeds that of even the Macbook Air – even with the extra processing power needed for the improved graphics display. He also makes the interesting observation that Apple’s priorities lie with screen quality and user experience, and that they are willing to make the iPad 3 slightly heavier and bulkier to include a battery that will power the retina display and a 4G connection.


Along with its stunningly detailed, crystal-clear screen, a lot of review chatter focuses on the iPad’s 4G capabilities. “Put simply: it’s fast. Really fast. Faster-than-my-WiFi fast” says MG Siegler from TechCrunch. Due to revolutionise the UK before the end of 2012, 4G is the next step beyond 3G. It’s not available yet, but you can still use the new iPad with a 3G connection and wait for our mobile networks to roll out 4G further down the line.

5MP iSight Camera

Previous incarnations of iPad cameras have been laughable, producing a picture quality that made us wonder why Apple bothered including a rear camera at all. The new iPad changes this, with a rear camera that matches the latest iPhone offering. The front of the device still carries a VGA, which offers poorer quality, but is still good for FaceTime. Joshua Topolsky from The Verge goes into more camera-related detail:

The auto-focus and face detection work excellently here (though tapping to focus is sometimes impossible due to the size of the thing). Thanks to that improved sensor, pictures you take on the iPad now look relatively respectable, with a depth of field shallow enough to pull off rather artistic looking images.

So what’s the verdict? Unanimously, the new iPad has wowed critics, who are hailing it as a success. To sum up with the words of MG Siegler: “This is the best tablet out there right now that we’re talking about.”